Pressure Cooking Guidelines

Vegetables:
Vegetables cook quite quickly under pressure. The preferred technique is to place the prepared vegetables on the steaming basket above boiling water. As a general guideline, add ½ cup water for up to 5 minutes of pressure cooking, 1 cup water for 6 to 10 minutes, and another 1 cup water for each additional 10 minutes. Where pressure cooking time is given as “0,” remove cooker from the stove as soon as full pressure is achieved and reduce pressure quickly. When a range is given, variations are due to size and age (for example, larger and older vegetables require more cooking.)

Vegetable

Preparation

Water (cups)

Time (minutes)

Artichokes whole 11
Asparagus end trimmed ½ 1-2
Beets whole, small
whole, medium
1
10
12-16
Broccoli full stalks
florets
½
½
2
1
Brussels sprouts whole ½ 3
Cabbage quartered
cut in strips
½
1
5-6
2
Carrots ½-inch thick
coins
large chunks whole
½
½
1
1
2
4-7
Cauliflower whole
florets
1
½
5
2
Green beans whole, ends trimmed
1-inch lengths
½
½
1-2
0-1
Leeks 3-inch pieces ½ 3
Onions wedges ½ 1
Parsnips whole
1-inch chunks
1
½
8-10
3-4
Peppershalved stuffed with precooked filling ½ 3
Potatoes new, whole
whole, small (3 oz)
whole, medium (5 oz)
whole, large (8 oz)
3-inch cubes
1½-inch cubes
½-inch thick slices
½
1



1
½
5
10
15
25
12
6
2
Pumpkin large wedges 1 8-10
Squash, Acorn halved, seeds removed 1 7
Squash, Yellow halved, stuffed with precooked filling ½ 3
Sweet potato whole
halved
1
½
6-8
3-4
Turnips 1-inch cubes or ½-inch thick slices ½ 3-4
Zucchini ½-inch rounds ½ 1

Dried Beans

Beans may be soaked or not prior to pressure cooking. Unsoaked beans need longer cooking and more water, but also froth less and hold their shape better. To reduce the froth and foam that develops when cooking beans:

  • never fill the cooker more than halfway
  • don’t use less than 1½ cups water
  • wipe the inside of the pressure cooker lid with oil

Whether cooking soaked or unsoaked beans, the procedure is the same. Combine beans and water as recommended below. You can alter the amounts proportionately, but be sure the pot isn’t more than half full. Bring to boil and skim off any surface froth. Close cooker, bring pressure up over medium-high heat, reduce heat to just maintain pressure, and cook for the time indicated. At the end of cooking time, reduce pressure either by waiting 5 minutes and then slowly turning the steam release valve to allow gas to escape gradually (don’t open all at once), by waiting 5 minutes and running the pot under cold water, or by letting the pot cool down on its own. If beans aren’t completely cooked, return to pressure and cook another 5 minutes. This can be repeated as many times as necessary.
Don’t add salt until after cooking.

Bean

Volume (cups)

Presoaked (water/cups)

Time (minutes)

Unsoaked (water/cups)

Time (minutes)

Adzuki 2 3 10 4 15
Black beans 2 3 6 5 25
Black-eyed peas 2 3 5 4 15
Garbanzos (chickpeas) 2 2 18 5 48
Great northern (cannelini) 2 4 7 5 35
Kidney beans 2 4 8-10 5 35-40
Lentils 2 do not soak NA 10
Lima beans 2 3 5 5 15-18
Navy beans or pea beans 2 3 7 5 30
Pintos 2 3 7-8 5 35
Soybeans 2 4 16-18 5 45

Grains

The volume of grains more than doubles with cooking. As with dried beans, they shouldn’t exceed the halfway point in the pressure cooker initially. Wash and drain well prior to cooking. Combine with two times their volume of water, unless otherwise directed. Close cooker and bring to pressure over high heat. Lower heat to just maintain pressure and cook for specified time. Remove from heat and let sit 5 minutes. Then gradually open pressure-release valve (don’t open all at once) or reduce pressure under cold water and open. If grains aren’t tender at the end of the designated time, return to pressure and cook for an additional 5 minutes. This can be repeated as many times as necessary. When cooking is completed, if a little liquid remains, stir well and it will probably be absorbed in a few minutes. If too much to absorb, drain. (Some people prefer to cook grains in a large volume of water and drain off the excess. This causes a small loss of nutrients, but the liquid can be reserved for broth or a cooking medium.)
Don’t salt until after cooking.
Caution: Small grains such as millet, quinoa, kasha, and cracked wheat shouldn’t be pressure cooked, as they can clog the valve.

Grain

Time (Minutes)

Barley, whole 30
Barley, pearled 20
Brown Rice* 15
Kamut 45
Rye berries** 35
Wheat berries** 35
Wild Rice 25

* for brown rice, use an equal volume of grain and liquid
** for a drier texture, reduce liquid to 1½ cups per 1 cup of these grains

Meat and Poultry

Using recipes geared specifically to pressure cooking is best. General cooking times for various cuts can be used to guide you.

Animal

Cut

Time (Minutes)

Beef Stew, 1½ inch cubes
Strips, ¾ inch thick
Roasts
Ground
Stock from bones
20
12
15 per pound
8
40
Lamb Stew, 1½ inch cubes
Leg
Breast
Chops
12
12-15 per pound
10-12 per pound
8-10
Pork Chops, ¾ inch thick
Ribs
Roasts
Roasts, bone-in
6
10 per pound
10-12 per pound
12-15 per pound
Veal & Game Stew
Chops
12
6
Chicken Pieces
Half
Soup with pieces
10
12
12-15